• Square Enix State of Affairs: Dissidia NT is underperforming?


    Welcome to Square Enix State of Affairs, where we look at the company's most recent financial results for the last few fiscal quarters, including the third quarter of the fiscal year ending at March 2018. Wait, before you flee because the sight of financial data bores you, let me provide a succinct rundown of all major findings.

    HD Games

    The HD games sub-segment refers to their major console releases. It has been notably sparse this year. Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age has been the biggest console release in Japan whereas globally we've seen Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age.

    As these releases are not as major as in previous years, it has resulted in a decline in net sales. This does not mean income has declined though. Income has instead bolstered because of continuing brisk sales of other games in their catalogue, such as February 2017's NieR Automata.

    MMOs

    June saw Final Fantasy XIV: Stormblood launch and over in Japan, Dragon Quest X enjoys continued, steady success with a new expansion of its own. Given a fiscal year filled with major expansion packs for their premier two MMORPGs, disc sales and subscription numbers have risen, though no numbers are provided.

    Dissidia

    Interestingly, it would appear that Dissidia Final Fantasy NT, the new console entry in the Dissidia series with a particular emphasis on competitive online play and a 3v3 battle format as opposed to the more story-driven, single-player, RPG focused game design philosophy of its PSP predecessor entries, has failed to meet targets. Initial sales have not reached Square Enix's expectations and in response, there will be a much more thorough focus on post-launch initiatives.

    For context, Dissidia NT launched alongside other major multiplayer focused games such as Bandai Namco's Dragon Ball FighterZ and Capcom's Monster Hunter World.

    Meanwhile, the mobile partner game of Dissidia NT, known as Dissidia Final Fantasy Opera Omnia, has managed to remain in Square Enix's list of most successful mobile games. It has just recently launched globally on iOS and Android, no doubt pushing its prominence up further.



    The outline of the report presents an interesting final question:

    Q: The launch of "Final Fantasy XV" generated knock-on benefits that extended to areas such as mobile games and MMO. Can we expect to see something similar from "Dragon Quest XI" which you launched this fiscal year?
    A: We would like to explore various possibilities regarding how to leverage our Dragon Quest XI assets and what derivative products we might offer. Please look forward to future announcements.
    When it refers to FFXV's additional "knock-on benefits", it is referring to the side products that have spawned since its release back in November 2016. These include FFXV: A New Empire for mobile devices, character DLCs (Episodes Gladiolus, Prompto and Ignis), the multiplayer expansion DLC Final Fantasy XV Comrades and Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition, a 'demake' version of the game for mobile devices.

    It seems probable that Square Enix will aim to repeat its success with the post-launch monetisation of FFXV with Dragon Quest XI, though it must be noted that the latter has yet to leave Japanese shores for global waters.

    You can find the outline of the report here.
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